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Using Universal Design For Learning to Meet the Needs of All Students

Worried that your teaching isn’t reaching ALL of your students?  Looking for strategies to meet the needs of students who struggle to learn for a variety of reasons without compromising the rigorous standards of a course?  The key to helping all students succeed is to remove barriers from course design, teaching methods, and curriculum materials.  Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an effective pedagogical approach that removes such barriers and enhances learning for students with varied backgrounds, learning styles, abilities and disabilities. UDL is:

  • the process of making our course concepts educationally accessible regardless of learning style or ability.
  • a proactive approach to designing course instruction, materials, and content to benefit students of all learning styles so that you can avoid making needed adaptations as an afterthought.

Universal Design for Learning asks educators to:

  • REPRESENT information in multiple formats and media,
  • provide multiple ways to ENGAGE students’ interest and motivation, and
  • provide multiple pathways for students to EXPRESS what they have learned.

Given the central role of teaching and learning in our professional lives, faculty need concrete ways to enhance effectiveness in the classroom in support of greater student achievement. Explore the following resources on Universal Design for Learning and consider adopting principles of UDL to better meet your students’ needs.

Resources for the Implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

University of Washington, Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT)

Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST)

Tip by:
Tasha Souza
Associate Director of the Center for Teaching & Learning
Professor of Communication
Boise State University